2017-08-05 16:42:14 UTC
Vox Condemns President Trump for Calling Gang Members ‘Animals’
July 31, 2017
One of the central tenets underlying gun ownership for self-defense: there
are bad people out there. Seriously bad people. People with no respect for
civilized norms, who’d happily rape, torture, injure and/or kill innocent
people without any moral qualms. President Trump has a name for these
people, some of whom are illegal immigrants: “animals.”
Vox science reporter Brian Resnick is unhappy with that term. The case that
Trump’s language “justifies or even mandates violence,” the article’s
On Friday, Donald Trump stood before law enforcement officers in Long
Island, New York, and warned them about the “animals” they were up against.
Trump’s speech to the Long Island police officers was long and chilling.
Throughout his remarks, the president repeatedly advocated for violent
policing. He also greatly exaggerated the threat of crime in the New York
City suburbs, lamenting how Long Island’s parks have become “bloodstained
But most chilling was Trump’s description of the Latino gang members he
singled out as the culprits: “I was reading one of these animals was caught
and explaining they like to knife them and cut them and let them die slowly
because that way it’s more painful. And they enjoy watching that much more.”
And that’s a problem because . . .
When we refer to people as “animals” or anything other than “people” it
flips a mental switch in our minds. It allows us to deny empathy to other
people, makes us feel numb to their pain, and lets us forgive ourselves from
causing them harm.
At best, the dehumanizing language in Trump’s Long Island speech tells law
enforcement they’re superior to these “animals,” which “justifies or even
mandates violence,” Nour Ktiely, who studies the psychology of
dehumanization and its consequences at Northwestern, told Vox in an email.
At worst,” Kteily said, “it communicates that message more broadly to the
most fervent of the white supremacists who number among the president’s
supporters.” These are people who — like Trump — may often conflate the
words “immigrant” and “criminal.”
Oy vey. Here’s a story about the Latin Kings [via nydailynews.com] that
makes one wonder how much empathy these gang members deserve, and what Mr.
Resnick would consider an appropriate adjective to describe them. (Picture
of perps above.)
Fueled by hate for homosexuals, a sick crew of Bronx gang members went on a
wave of sadistic violence that included forcing a teen to burn his gay lover
with cigarettes, cops said Friday.
The cowardly creeps then made the 17-year-old watch as they sodomized the
(sic) tortured man with a miniature baseball bat.
I would have thought that the left-leaning Mr. Resnick would have some
empathy for the LGBTQ community. Keeping in mind that this is hardly the
first time these, well, animals attacked LGBTQ members (Latin Kings gang
member gets life term for killing trans teen with hammer).
There is considerable irony here.
Not only does Mr. Resnick fail to understand that it’s in society’s best
interest to marginalize, indeed vilify those who fail to respect the
sanctity of human life, but he can’t see his comrades’ constant
dehumanization of their conservative opponents. And where that would lead.
Inside all of us is the same mental machinery that fueled the atrocities of
the past century. “We think others to death and then invent the battle-axe
or the ballistic missiles with which to actually kill them,” writes the
philosopher Sam Keen.
That’s why we can’t kid ourselves into believing that dehumanizing language
Dehumanization, and increasing acceptance of prejudice, won’t immediately
lead to atrocities — but it will make it easier to make life worse for the
And yet liberals like Mr. Resnick believe “marginalized” Americans — all
Americans, save the police — should remain disarmed in the face of attacks
by animals. Go figure.